Mbabane: The late Minister of Public Service, Christian Ntshangase is eligible to a Parliamentary pension of over E145 000 which was deducted from his salary which he earned over 25 months while in office.
By the time of his demise, after assuming office in November 2018, he had been in office for the aforementioned period.
According to Government’s Remuneration Framework, Financial Circular No. 2 of 2013, a pension contribution equal to 15 percent of the basic salary of the inclusive remuneration package is deducted monthly from the Parliamentarian’s salary.
While Independent News was able to calculate the parliamentary pension for the late minister, which is also defined as a contribution fund limiting the participant benefits to their contributions, it could not immediately make out of the late minister’s public service pension benefit, also called the benefit plan, which the late minister is also qualified to profit from.
Parliamentarians are insured as part of the benefit fund against accidents and death in terms of a contract concluded by Government with an insurance company, all in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Retirement Funds Act.
Other insured benefits include the group life insurance of two times annual salary in the event of death of a member whilst in office; disability cover for a member while in office; funeral assistance of E20,000 for a member, spouse and children while the member is still in office; and E20,000 for the member thereafter.
With the Government’s Remuneration Framework for Eswatini Politicians –Financial Circular No.13 which is still in full force, the late Ntshangase will be accorded a fully government funded state funeral. Ntshangase has not yet been buried after succumbing to a Covid-19 related illness late last week, while admitted at the Lubombo Referral Hospital, Siteki.
According to the Circular, a state funeral will be arranged and funded by the government and held to honor the prominent minister who had given long and outstanding service to the Eswatini Government.
Also eligible for state funerals are the serving Prime Minister; serving Deputy Prime Minister; serving Presiding Officers; serving cabinet Ministers; former Prime Minister; former Deputy Prime Minister; and anyone else the King sees fit to get a State funeral.
Worth mentioning is that the late minister did not benefit from the parliamentarians’ medical aid cover enshrined in the Circular due to being admitted at the Lubombo Referral Hospital which provides medical services to Covid-19 infected patients free of charge.
It is safe to say that despite being eligible for the medical aid cover, parliamentarians who contract the virus cannot benefit from it.
According to the remuneration framework, medical aid is afforded to all Parliamentarians through an approved service provider.
Drawn for comment, Government Spokesperson, Sabelo Dlamini said despite not using the medical aid cover one is not reimbursed, adding that he could not comment any further even as the late minister’s funeral has not been officially announced. Dlamini said a committee is still being assembled which will deal with the preparations and will come up with a budget for the event.
This table shows politicians who qualify for medical aid which covers all medical costs, incurred with contribution rate.
|Prime Minister||Full Medical cover for member, spouse and dependents while in office|
|DPM||Full lifetime cover for PM and his deputy|
|Presiding officers Ministers Regional Administrators Deputy Presiding Officers||Full Medical cover for member, spouse and dependents while in office|
|MP Tindvuna Tetinkhundla Bucopho Betinkhundla||No cover to be provided for the parliamentarian, spouse or dependent on parliamentarian vacation of office|